All but the hybrid Crosstreks come with a 2.0L 4-cylinder boxer engine making 148 horsepower. This engine is mated to either a 5-speed manual transmission or an optional continuously variable transmission (CVT). Both drivetrains come equipped with all-wheel-drive, a specialty of Subaru.
The hybrid Crosstrek comes with the same 2.0L engine, mated to CVT and a 13.4-horse electric motor and NiMh battery combination. This powertrain makes 160 horsepower and 163 lb-feet of torque, and is estimated to achieve a combined 31 mpg.
Subaru is serious about making sure the Crosstrek comes well-equipped from the factory. Crosstreks comes in two trim levels: Premium and Limited. Premium-specced cars come with plenty of useful features. The standard stereo has six speakers, iPod controllability, an auxiliary input jack, a USB port and Bluetooth connectivity with live audio streaming. Interior amenities include heated seats, steering wheel mounted audio and cruise control, a tilting and telescoping wheel, a removable cargo mat with plenty of tie down hooks, a hill assist function to keep the car from rolling back on inclines, keyless entry, power windows and door locks and of course, air conditioning.
Limited Crosstreks come with the CVT, automatic climate control, automatic headlights, leather upholstery, a 4.3-inch LCD screen, nicer instruments and a backup camera. Options on both models include a navigation system and a power moonroof.
The Hybrid Crosstrek also nets climate control and keyless entry. A Hybrid Touring model includes navigation, leather and a sunroof.
Typically, all-wheel-drive vehicles must make accommodations for a driveshaft and rear differential, often reducing interior space. Fold down the 60/40 rear seats in a Crosstrek, however, and a flat load floor and nearly 52 cubic feet of carrying space are revealed. Rear seat legroom is also impressive with space comparable to many mid-sized family sedans.
Subaru has taken particular care with the safety features of the Crosstrek. It has all the standard electronic safety nets, including traction control, anti-lock brakes and stability control. The anti-lock brakes also feature a panic braking sensor that anticipates a panic braking situation and immediately applies full braking load. The front airbags are dual-stage and include a mechanism to detect how close the driver is sitting to the steering wheel, delaying airbag deployment accordingly.
Before I discuss the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid, let me say that I genuinely enjoy the standard,. It's manageably sized, solid to drive, possesses surprising off-road chops and, crucially, it feels like a good value -- especially in lower trims. I've even grown to like its chunky, quasi-rally car looks.
It seemed reasonable to me, then, that adding a plug-in hybrid powertrain with a slug of pure electric range and whisper-quiet operation around town would be something of a slam dunk.
I was wrong.
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